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Weeks, Willie

Willie Weeks was born in Salemburg, North Carolina. His early musical influences were country, pop and R&B songs he heard on the radio. At age 12, he began singing and playing guitar in a local gospel group. In the early 60s, he began honing his skills as a bass player working with a variety of bands around the U.S. In Chicago, he played with Rufus, in a pre-Chaka Khan lineup. He next joined up with soul star Donny Hathaway. Many bass players and R&B enthusiasts point to Willie’s 3 1/2 minute solo on the finale of “Donny Hathaway Live” as an example of some of his finest work.

After leaving Hathaway’s band, Weeks teamed up with drummer Andy Newmark (who has also played in Eric’s band). They played on Ron Wood’s 1974 solo debut and then moved on to sessions with David Bowie, Rod Stewart, the Rolling Stones, and George Harrison. They also toured with Harrison in 1974.

In the late 70s and 80s, Weeks enjoyed a busy session schedule and moved to Nashville in 1984. There, he has established himself over the last 20 years as one of the top country session men. He has played on more than 200 albums with diverse artists like Gregg Allman, Joan Baez, David Bowie, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Jimmy Buffett, David Cassidy, The Doobie Brothers, Aretha Franklin, Vince Gill, Isaac Hayes, Janis Ian, Billy Joel, Wynona Judd, Alicia Keys, Delbert McClinton, John Mellencamp, Bette Midler, Maria Muldaur, Randy Newman, The Pointer Sisters, Kenny Rogers, David Lee Roth, Leo Sayer, James Taylor, Tanya Tucker, Conway Twitty, Junior Wells, Steve Winwood, Bobby Womack, Stevie Wonder and many more.

Willie toured with Eric throughout the 2006 / 2007 World Tour and re-joined Eric’s touring band for the Summer 2008 European dates. He has been on all tours since then and will again be on the road with EC in 2011. He can be seen in both Crossroads Festival DVDs from 2007 and 2010.

Willie had worked previously with Eric on sessions for George Harrison’s self-titled 1978 album. Weeks and Clapton play on the song “Love Comes To Everyone” along with George Harrison, Andy Newmark (drums), Neil Larsen (keyboards), Ray Cooper (percussion) and Steve Winwood (moog / backing vocals).

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